BOISE, Idaho (CBS Seattle) — A woman had a portion of her skull stored in her stomach for 42 days following brain surgery over the summer.

Jamie Hilton, a former Mrs. America pageant contestant, suffered a traumatic head injury after falling about 10 feet from a platform onto rocks in Hells Canyon, Idaho, during a fishing trip with her husband and brother-in-law in June.

According to the Deseret News, doctors at the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center removed about 25 percent of her skull and stored it in her stomach to keep it nourished while her brain healed.

After the swelling in her brain started to subside, doctors reattached the skull on July 18.

“They took the section of her skull (the Bone Flap) from her abdomen and were able to put it back in place again in her skull,” Nick Hilton, Jamie’s husband, posted on her blog. “The doctor said that the bone looked great and was in the right condition. It was put back in place again using small circular patches of titanium, as thin as paper, and some very small titanium screws.”

The mother of three credits God for helping her through the ordeal.

“My consumption with myself and problems has turned my heart inward, which is the opposite of what I desire for my life,” she posted on her blog. “God teaches us to look outward, look to others and their needs, over and over he reiterates to be comforted, to love your neighbor, and to ‘consider the lilies of the field’. He is aware of us, and will not leave us…. learning to turn “outward” and it feels so good.”

Hilton has recovered from her accident and surgery and is just grateful to be alive.

“NOTHING in this world really matters to me today other than I AM HERE. I am on this GLORIOUS earth with my unbelievable family. I can snuggle my kids, kiss my husband, hang out with my mom, and LIVE.”


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